Understanding spiral structure

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Physics


This project falls within STFC roadmap topic A5 (How do stars and galaxies evolve?). The aim is to understand the nature of spiral structure in disc galaxies, by studying how models of axisymmetric discs response to internal and external perturbations and comparing the results against observational data, particularly from Gaia DR2 and subsequent releases.

This is a lively current topic of research within the galaxy dynamics community. It is most commonly tackled using N-body simulations or, less frequently, by using some kind of analysis of the modes of the system. Instead of finding eigenmodes, simpler, underexplored alternative approach is to consider the initial value problem for the coupled Vlasov and Poisson equations that describe the evolution of the disc. We will first focus on the evolution of idealised 2d discs before exploring avenues for including the disc's vertical structure.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/T506333/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2023
2285836 Studentship ST/T506333/1 30/09/2019 29/03/2023 Dominic Dootson